We’ve all been there.
“Hey! How are you?”
“I’m doing great, you?”
Not all of our conversations are stellar, and for many people conversations can be downright difficult or stressful. It’s easy to go on autopilot and ask generic questions, only to give generic answers right back.
When I was a senior in college, the question constantly asked of me by family and friends was “so what are you going to do?” There is nothing wrong with this question, and it’s a logical thing to ask, but over time the question begins to send the message of “have you figured out your future yet?"
Let me start this by saying that I’m not against cell phones. I have countless uses for mine and I love that I get to carry so much information and entertainment in my pocket at all times. However I do think there is a line between having a healthy use of your phone and not.
Last week I posted about why we should be mindful and how I think it can improve our lives.
However, to be consistently mindful and intentional, we need to know what we hope to achieve by being more mindful.
For me, I hope to be the best husband, friend, worker, and person I can be. I want to be constantly growing and I want to use my time well.
I talk on here a lot about being mindful (hence the name), but a fair question is “why?”
Why be mindful?
Free time. Some of us have a lot of it, some of us have very little, but what I’m finding is that a lot of your fulfillment and quality of life can come from what you do with your free time.
I’ve been out of college for a few years now, and so are a lot of the people I know and talk to. We’re getting used to the real world and living on our own. There are a lot of benefits to this, and of course it’s the natural progression of life, eventually you need to move on from what is comfortable and embark on your own.
They are truly remarkable devices. I can contact my wife, my mom, and whoever else at any moment of any day. I can look up who has played Batman the most times, I can order food, and a million other things. Cell phones are awesome, and they are forever a prevention of boredom.
In the final few days of 2017, I spent a good amount of time looking back at 2017 as a whole and looking ahead to my hopes and goals for 2018 (you can see the post here). I have done this for the past few years and I really enjoy it and have found it to be extremely beneficial.
2017 has been quite the year. It has been wonderful and fun, but it also has been one of the most challenging years of my life. Some of the best events in my life happened in 2017. I got married, traveled, saw my family a ton, and it was a great year at my job. However, inwardly I have had to work through and face things that I haven’t had to face before.
As a person who works a 9-5 job, far too often I see my free time in the evening slip away into an unproductive hodgepodge (yes that is a great word). One minute I’m getting licked by my dog when I get home, then I feel like the next moment I’m cleaning the dishes after dinner, and I need to start getting ready for bed. What the heck happened to my night?
A few months ago I was at a conference and the main speaker said something that really hit me. He spoke about the difference between having the “get to” mindset vs the “have to” mindset. The main idea is that for everything in your life, you can think about it as an obligation (have to) or as an opportunity (get to).
There are 86,400 seconds in a day that you get to use. The successful people you admire have the same amount of time in their day as you do, and they have discovered the discipline to maximize their day. You also have that opportunity.
Here’s the thing with adult life: you spend a lot of your waking hours at work. This means different things for different people. Some are in a cubicle, some are in a hospital, some are in an office, some are at a dance studio, some are in a classroom. Whatever your situation is, you probably spend a lot of time there
If there is anything I have come to understand in my few years in the real world, it’s that I love to learn. I remember going through training at my current job and the excitement that came with learning something new.
As I look around and experience life as a person in his mid twenties, I am constantly aware of the struggles and issues that I face each day and overall, and I’m seeing that a lot of people my age or close in age are experiencing similar struggles and asking similar questions.